Success with League - Public Library Partnership
LWV NORTHWOODS launched an innovative project last fall creating voter registration how-to manuals and voter reference materials for placement in area public libraries. The Voter Education and Registration Assistance Project (VERAP) enables eligible citizens to self-register to vote using MyVote.wi.gov or paper forms with assistance, as needed, from library staff. Public libraries are well recognized as welcoming community spaces where people go to seek information. A natural alliance was realized, uniting libraries with the League’s interest in offering safe alternative locations for citizens to register to vote.
Carefully written, self-guiding how-to handbooks and resources were initially placed in eight Northwoods area public libraries in five counties. The materials were adapted from programs instituted by the LWV Milwaukee County and the City of Kenosha and the Kenosha Public Library. Quick to realize the project’s value, Northwoods League member and life-long librarian Kris Adams Wendt, introduced the project to her supervisor, Marla Sepnafski, Director of the Wisconsin Valley Library System (WVLS) and recently named WI Librarian of the year, resulting in VERAP’s recent rollout to all 33 libraries in that regional system for National Voter Registration Day. Thanks to an inspiring presentation by Northwoods League leadership, copying costs for the VERAP handbooks were funded by WVLS. Representatives from the other 16-region, statewide Wisconsin Public Library System were able to hear the VERAP presentation. LWVNOW hopes that libraries and Leagues interested in the program will connect with one another. If your League is interested in this project, please contact information [at] lwvnow.org and visit the LWV Northwoods website to learn more about VERAP’s program goals and objectives and view their instructional handbook and other training materials.